Aug 5th 2014, vs Hanshin

August 5th, 2014

Hanshin Tigers 20

Tokyo Swallows 11

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WWWWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

W: Messenger (9-8; 3.15 ERA)
L: Yagi (5-5; 3.83)

Hold on, I think this game is broken. Did someone enter a cheat code?

*hits control-alt-delete*

Shit, nothing is happening, it’s not responding……

*pop-up windows filled with grotesque animal porn continue to fill the screen*


Uemoto (2B)1Yamada (2B)
Shunsuke (CF)2Hiyane (CF)
Toritani (SS)3Kawabata (3B)
Gomez (1B)4Balentien (LF)
Murton (LF)5Yuhei (RF)
Arai the Elder (3B)6Hatakeyama (1B)
Arai the Younger (RF)7Morioka (SS)
Umeno (C)8Nakamura (C)
Messenger (P)9Yagi (P)

Yes, this actually happened

Yes, this actually happened

All you really need to know about this horror show was contained in the top of the 1st. An inning which saw Yagi take the mound for the Swallows, a pitcher who, exactly a week earlier, had tossed eight shutout innings against the Tigers at Koshien.

And after two swift ground outs had gotten things started on the right foot, Toritani hit a harmless fly ball to just in front of the wall in centre which should have been enough to put up yet another goose egg for Yagi. Only problem was, Hiyane somehow swatted away the ball rather than catch it, and Toritani was safe at second thanks to the error. SO IT WAS ALL HIYANE’S FAULT. Hold on, not so fast.

Yagi seemed flustered, walking Gomez on five pitches to put two on. Things then took a dark turn, as after issuing that fifth pitch to Gomez, Yagi appeared to have some kind of discomfort in his left leg, a problem that was serious enough for him to leave the mound and not return. Cue confusion all around, and the sickening realisation that the bullpen would have to pitch 8.1 innings unprepared.

New import Yamanaka hastily got ready in the ‘pen and came in to pitch. And then the true horror show began in earnest. The ex-Hawk walked the fake ginger Jesus aka Murton, and then gave up a grand slam dinger to Arai the Elder and Tokyo were down by four.

And that is as much detail as you’re going to get from me this evening as my brain is already going into damage limitation mode to try and supress the harmful memories of the four hours and fifteen minutes of a sport that was allegedly baseball.

Yamanaka (9.00 ERA) would end up giving up 6 runs off 9 hits in total over his 2.1 innings, on top of the 2 runs he let home that were charged to Yagi.

Next up to toss batting practice was Abe (13.17 ERA), allowing 7 runs off 6 hits and 3 walks in his 2 innings.

Kyuko (7.12 ERA) then stopped the bleeding a tad, allowing just 1 run off 3 hits in his two innings.

Matsuoka (5.68 ERA) was the night’s solitary shining beacon of pitching perfection as he worked a perfect 8th, before Emura (4.63 ERA) came in to end the game in a fashion suitable for the tone of the evening as he gave up 4 runs off 5 hits in the 9th.

While all this carnage was occurring in the top of each inning, in the bottom halves the Swallows bats put together a pretty mean (half) game of baseball, putting up 11 runs of their own over the 9 innings, 8 of them (7 earned) against Messenger. But alas given all that was going on, I consider them 11 good runs wasted.

Yamada, as is often becoming the case these days, was the stand out, with 3 hits including home runs 18 and 19 for the year. Kawabata and Nakamura also had 3 hit evenings, while Balentien and Yuhei had 2 each. Hiyane was the only member of the original starting nine not to register a hit.

Yagi cemented his status as the world’s unluckiest pitcher by getting tagged for the loss. Given his performance last week against the same opposition, I’ve no doubt that had he stayed in the game and not been hit by that leg injury, the Swallows would have ended up winning this one. So there’s that I guess?

But only if I can forget this……….

Picture courtesy of "M"


About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • Ryo Uchida

    Ouch! Yagi will be out for 6 to 8 weeks.
    Also, after their horrendous showing, Abe and Yamanaka (along with Yagi) will be sent down, and they have brought up Kiya, Tokuyama, and Nakazawa. Hmmm, no comment there, but what are they to do with Hiyane? That was possibly the worst error I have seen all season, and we’ve seen many many many errors this season… Our outfield is atrocious.